Posted: Thursday, August 7, 2008 9:36 pm
Dear Annie: I have been married more than 30 years. I’ve worked hard to keep myself attractive for my husband, but he has told me repeatedly I am not what he wants sexually, even though he expects me to be available to him at all times.
There have been a couple of infidelities. At a time when I needed to rebuild my trust, I discovered quite a bit of porn on our computer and visits to Web sites where you can meet others for sex. I told my husband this undermined my attempts to trust him and he agreed to stop. After several months of not finding anything, I quit checking until last week when I discovered he’s again viewing online porn and bringing up profiles of women in our area who are advertising sex.
This sickens me. I feel betrayed. I may be a bit of a prude by today’s standards, but I do enjoy sex. I also know men like to look at porn and view it differently than women. But I also wonder if that is why my husband is dissatisfied with me. I don’t live up to his sexual expectations. He once asked me to sit naked in a chair so he could stare at me. It made me feel as if I were being displayed on one of his porn sites. This bothers me and also feels wrong spiritually. Am I being too rigid? — No Name or State
Dear No Name: What two consenting adults do in the privacy of their own home is entirely up to them. The real problem is that your husband doesn’t respect you. Please ask him to come with you for counseling. A counselor will help you consider the benefits of being more sexually adventurous and will work with your husband on recognizing that his demeaning attitude undermines every aspect of your relationship. As always, if he won’t go, go without him.
Dear Annie: Several years ago, I took out a huge loan to pay for my daughter’s college tuition. She is now working full time and making a good salary.
The problem is, due to some financial setbacks, I could really use her help to pay back the loan. Would I be wrong to ask her? She has never offered to help and we are not the best of friends. — Stuck in Debt
Dear Stuck: It can’t hurt to ask, as long as you can accept “no” for an answer. We realize this doesn’t seem fair, but paying for a child’s college tuition is generally a parent’s choice and you didn’t stipulate any repayment. The fact that you don’t have a good relationship with your daughter makes it more difficult for her to want to bail you out now, especially if those “financial setbacks” are of your own making. But we hope she will come through.
Dear Annie: My life partner, “Michelle,” is going through an emotionally painful time in her life. We are in a same-sex relationship. My family is loving and supportive. Michelle’s family is a different story.
She came out to them a few months ago because she was tired of lying and not being able to share her partner and adopted son with her family. She wanted the baby to know his grandparents and relatives. It didn’t go over well. Her mother is hateful and vindictive. Her father, with whom she was very close, told her to pretend it never happened and that she is never to mention me or the baby to him. Her brother and his wife make excuses to keep her from visiting their children.
Michelle has been playing by these rules for a few months and I can’t bear to see her in so much pain. She is a caring, beautiful soul who deserves so much more. I was raised to believe family is a gift from God to be treasured. Please print my letter so they will wake up — West Virginia
Dear West Va.: This is heartbreaking and, unfortunately, there is no magic potion to knock some sense into her family members. Thank goodness she has such a loving and supportive partner. We hope, in time, her family will come around.
Annie’s Mailbox is written by Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar, longtime editors of the Ann Landers column. Please e-mail your questions to email@example.com, or write to: Annie’s Mailbox, P.O. Box 118190, Chicago, IL 60611. To find out more about Annie’s Mailbox, and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at www.creators.com.
Published in The Messenger 8.7.08